Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility Progress

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is one of the world’s premier test reactors for studying the effects of intense neutron radiation on reactor materials and fuels. The ATR began operation in 1967, and has operated continuously since then, averaging approximately 250 operating days per year. The combination of high flux, large test volumes, and multiple experiment configuration options provide unique testing opportunities for nuclear fuels and material researchers. The ATR is a pressurized, light-water moderated and cooled, beryllium-reflected highly-enriched uranium fueled, reactor with a maximum operating power of 250 MWth. The ATR peak thermal ... continued below

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Marshall, Frances M.; Allen, Todd R.; Cole, James I.; Benson, Jeff B. & Thelen, Mary Catherine October 1, 2012.

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is one of the world’s premier test reactors for studying the effects of intense neutron radiation on reactor materials and fuels. The ATR began operation in 1967, and has operated continuously since then, averaging approximately 250 operating days per year. The combination of high flux, large test volumes, and multiple experiment configuration options provide unique testing opportunities for nuclear fuels and material researchers. The ATR is a pressurized, light-water moderated and cooled, beryllium-reflected highly-enriched uranium fueled, reactor with a maximum operating power of 250 MWth. The ATR peak thermal flux can reach 1.0 x1015 n/cm2-sec, and the core configuration creates five main reactor power lobes (regions) that can be operated at different powers during the same operating cycle. In addition to these nine flux traps there are 68 irradiation positions in the reactor core reflector tank. The test positions range from 0.5” to 5.0” in diameter and are all 48” in length, the active length of the fuel. The INL also has several hot cells and other laboratories in which irradiated material can be examined to study material radiation effects. In 2007 the US Department of Energy (DOE) designated the ATR as a National Scientific User Facility (NSUF) to facilitate greater access to the ATR and the associated INL laboratories for material testing research by a broader user community. Goals of the ATR NSUF are to define the cutting edge of nuclear technology research in high temperature and radiation environments, contribute to improved industry performance of current and future light water reactors, and stimulate cooperative research between user groups conducting basic and applied research. The ATR NSUF has developed partnerships with other universities and national laboratories to enable ATR NSUF researchers to perform research at these other facilities, when the research objectives cannot be met using the INL facilities. The ATR NSUF program includes a robust education program enabling students to participate in their research at INL and the partner facilities, attend the ATR NSUF annual User Week, and compete for prizes at sponsored conferences. Development of additional research capabilities is also a key component of the ATR NSUF Program; researchers are encouraged to propose research projects leading to these enhanced capabilities. Some ATR irradiation experiment projects irradiate more specimens than are tested, resulting in irradiated materials available for post irradiation examination by other researchers. These “extra” specimens comprise the ATR NSUF Sample Library. This presentation will highlight the ATR NSUF Sample Library and the process open to researchers who want to access these materials and how to propose research projects using them. This presentation will provide the current status of all the ATR NSUF Program elements. Many of these were not envisioned in 2007, when DOE established the ATR NSUF.

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  • Fifth International Symposium on Material Test Reactors,Columbia, MO,10/23/2012,10/25/2012

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-12-27139
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1060978
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834356

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 1:39 p.m.

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Marshall, Frances M.; Allen, Todd R.; Cole, James I.; Benson, Jeff B. & Thelen, Mary Catherine. Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility Progress, article, October 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834356/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.